Goodbye Chrysler 300
By Tony Franklin on September 19, 2018
Chrysler has whittled its production focus down to two individual models: The respected Pacifica minivan and the famous 300 sedans. Everything has a beginning and an end, and it looks like number 300 is up. Automotive New Canada reports that the Chrysler 300 is due to be discontinued in 2020. This model has been built in Brampton, Ontario since 2005 when Chrysler revived the nameplate.
But what type of vehicle will take its place? Not a new sedan. Instead, Chrysler is looking to produce a new electric minivan they are calling the Portal. Is this CUV an attempt to jump in on the popular crossover vehicles or means of putting out an EV contender in the race against Tesla? Perhaps both. There may be some other factors in this decision as well.
Since April 2018, workers in Brampton have been on strike. Lear and Unifor (the worker’s representative) had reached a tentative agreement, but it was rejected by 94 percent of the workers at the Brampton plant. While there is no official word from the Chrysler administration yet, Jasap Brar, president of the Unifor Local 1285 chapter says that this is not the first time the company has talked about switching over to a CUV. an FCA Canada spokeswoman has also reported to Automotive News Canada that “The Chrysler 300 will be available for the 2019 model year.” There are no comments on future speculations, but with tough economic times for the automotive industry, and the growing future of EV and hybrid vehicles, change is bound to come sooner rather than later.
Something is going to happen there in Brampton. FCA already committed 325 million Canadian Dollars to refurbish the plant’s paint shop so it will be used to build something. Some are wondering if this will be the new home of the Portal. In the meantime, both the Pacifica and Pacifica hybrid are due for an update in 2020 and a total redesign around 2024. There have also been questions about the Dodge Charger (also made in Brampton). Will that model also be on the chopping block? There is no word from corporate headquarters yet, but change is in the air.